Richland County’s Information Technology Department saved taxpayers more than $39,000 by automating a reporting system used by the Probate Court to meet new state law requirements for law enforcement officials.
The Probate Court had estimated the additional money would be needed to pay someone to manually go through more than 25,000 files and separately enter the data for the 10 year reporting requirement. The technological enhancements eliminated the Court’s need for additional personnel and allowed it to meet reporting requirements for the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) ahead of the Aug. 1, 2014 deadline.
“Nia Behling, director of this division for the Probate Court, worked tirelessly with Glenn Heimburger with our IT Department to accomplish this seemingly insurmountable requirement,” said Probate Judge Amy McCulloch. “We are so grateful for the commitment Mr. Heimburger and our IT Department made to complete this.”
In March, the Probate Court removed the request for the additional funding.
Since last August, probate courts have been under a state mandate to report to SLED all individuals ordered to treatment for chemical dependency or mental illness and individuals found to be incapacitated and in need of a Guardian or Conservator. SLED requires specific information to add to a national database designed to prevent those individuals from purchasing or possessing handguns and ammunition.
As it worked to comply with the law, the County’s Probate Court also wanted to automate the processes used to gather and report such cases. That’s when officials turned to IT for help.
Janet Claggett, the County’s Chief Information Officer, said the partnership between the Probate Court and IT is a great example of how the right technology at the right time can save money, increase efficiencies and improve morale.
“Judge McCulloch and the Probate Court have been tremendous adopters of technologies that propel their operations forward,” Claggett said. “Successes like these make the work very rewarding and I am confident that many more successes are in the pipeline.”